I personally think that the five precepts are realistic enough because they are quite similar to the things that a Muslim may or may not do. The reason I say this is because I am a Muslim and some of these precepts are the same for me to follow in everyday life.
For example, precept 2: ‘I undertake to abstain from taking what is not freely given’
In other words, it means No stealing or any form of exploitation or taking advantage of someone. This should not be hard to follow because, first of all; this is against the law and I doubt it that any other religion would allow stealing.
All of the precepts are really what I, as a Muslim is not allowed to do, except the first one (‘to abstain from harming living beings’).
The reason I have brought myself into this is because as I said before, I do most of these and I don’t find any of them hard to follow so why should a Buddhist?
The obvious answer to the title would definitely be yes, because they are the same as what people with other faiths must not do.
Precept 1 is a very simple precept and must be easy to follow, since there are millions of other vegetarians from other faiths in our world and they find it easy and realistic enough. I think that it is easy to survive by being a vegetarian, because there are a lot of other foods to eat except meat etc.
Precept number 2 is also realistic because you will never be allowed to steal unless you want to, and if you are not interested to steal, then you won’t; so this one is also realistic enough as well.
I would think that Precept 3 would be slightly harder to follow and less realistic because of what everyone else is doing at this moment. In the U.K and in most other countries se outside marriage is a very common thing and this might draw you in. I am not saying that you should, but some people would have sex for fun and this precept may also be interpreted as avoiding any over-indulgence, such as gluttony such as sex for fun which in this world would be hard not to have.
Precept 4 is also not as realistic as 2 & 3 because these days talking behind people’s backs and lying is such a common thing that even if you don’t want to lie you will be forced into it.
Precept 5 is also not realistic because everyone really has a bit of a drink and even some Buddhist do, so this is not a very strong precept; but still it wouldn’t be hard to follow. Also what would be the point of following this when some Buddhist’s drink moderately or not moderately? They still drink! Basically I think that this is the most random precept and there is no point to follow but all the other precepts should be realistic enough.